Residents have forwarded this picture to The EDGE, citing fears regarding the stability of the dune and, more importantly, the safety of the lives and property of those staying both on top of and below it.
The picture, taken by a drone, has captured the image of clusters of informal homes perched, seemingly, on the very edge of the dune between Groenvallei and Smutsville. The bulk of the area in question is Erf 5046, belonging to Knysna Municipality, with a smaller portion being Erf 2794, belonging to Landjong Beleggings Pty. Ltd. We sent the photograph to the local authorities asking what the long-term plan is concerning safety measures.
The response from Lindile Petuna, acting Director of Integrated Human Settlements, reads as follows.
“We have had various engagements with the Sedgefield community and urged them to refrain from unlawful land invasions. We have a final court order for erf 5046 ( the Municipal land), and our public participation unit regularly relays this information via loud hailer.
“In terms of this order, the South African Police Services must also assist Law Enforcement in dealing with illegal structures.
“The owner of erf 2794 has a legal right in terms of the Prevention of Illegal Eviction Act to take action against the alleged perpetrators.”